Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From June 19th, 2011 Bulletin)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. - 2 Cor 13:13

This Greeting, which is one option we use at the beginning of Mass, is one of the more explicit Trinitarian references in Scripture. It reveals the unity of the three persons of the Godhead in Christian life. The Trinity is a mystery, however, one that we will not fully apprehend in this life. It takes faith to believe in the Trinity without understanding. There is a story of St. Augustine walking on the beach. He was pondering the Holy Trinity when he saw a boy running back and forth to the water with a bucket, trying to fill a little hole he had dug in the sand. The water kept overflowing the hole and running back to the sea. Augustine remarked, “What are you trying to do?” The boy responded, “I’m trying to put the sea into this hole.” Augustine rejoined, “Why that’s impossible.” The boy wisely said, “So is trying to cram all the truths of the Trinity into your head.”

The Trinity, as defined in the Catholic Encyclopedia, is in the absolute class of “supernatural mysteries…. An absolute mystery is a truth whose existence or possibility could not be discovered by a creature, and whose essence (inner substantial being) can be expressed by the finite mind only in terms of analogy, e.g., the Trinity.” May the Lord grant us faith to believe, to trust, and to hope in the living God.

Happy Father’s Day

Steve Wood, a Catholic Men’s Spiritual Leader, has a theory that if we are to renew society we must renew the Church; to renew the Church we must renew the family; and to renew the family we must renew the husband and father. In my experience this is generally true. Yes, it is a generalization, but often women seem to gravitate towards faith and a relationship with God more readily than men. Call it male pride, but that is just a guestimate. So what can we do to renew men in their roles as husbands and fathers? Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM gives these ten ‘commandments’ that can improve your life and effectiveness as a man.

Ten Commandments of a Husband and Father

“Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following His ways and observing His statutes, commands, ordinances and decrees,that you may succeed in whatever you do.” - 1 Kings 2:2-3

I. Develop an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, allowing Him to forgive you of your past, to talk to you, to heal you and to guide you. Then, trust the Holy Spirit in all things. Trust Him to provide everything you need, including financial help.

II. Get your priorities in order: Jesus first, your wife second, your children third, your work fourth, etc. Develop a weekly schedule, blocking out quality time for the Lord, your wife, each child and the family as a whole. A husband’s most important time during any given day is the first five minutes when he gets home from work and the love and attention he shows his wife and children at that time. Remember that your human fatherhood is rooted in the Divine Fatherhood of Almighty God. (cf. Eph 3:14-15; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2214)

III. Realize that you are [called to be a priest in your] home. It is your primary responsibility to oversee the TV and its influence, the Internet and its influence, as well as the books and magazines that enter into your home. You must stand firmly against all evil influences, asking constantly for God’s strength and guidance to lead your family in loving a pure, holy and non-violent lifestyle. Esto vir! (Be a man!) A father fosters moral virtue within his home first and foremost by example. Get into the habit of blessing your children – both alone and with your wife – before they go to sleep at night or before they leave the house in the morning. [A professor at my seminary once said that the best example of a priest he had known was his own father, because of the way in which he led the fami in prayer and virtue. This does not mean that a wife does not also exercise her ‘priesthood of all believers’. Saint Edith Stein, the great German feminist, says that the woman is the heart of the home. In light of the truth that so many women do lead their homes in faith, men must not abdicate their own spiritual responsibility because of this. Often children look to the father for affirmation of their mother’s good example. If they do not find it, or even find negation or mockery, then this licenses the children to dismiss the faith as irrelevant. EW]

I will continue with these commandments next week. For more information in the meantime, see the Fathers of Mercy web site at:

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